Pretty pictures


“I don’t want to think about art I just want to paint a pretty picture”.

Why think about art? Can’t we just make art? Sure. But to a large degree we think about these things so that when we do make something we don’t have to think about it. As Bruce Lee once said, we learn so that we can forget.

Consider that each time you make something you make a statement or ask a question. You decide each stroke of the brush is important enough to exist, each word important enough that your character must say it, each movement of the arm or leg is important enough to make its journey. Even when simply making a pretty picture you make a statement about what you think is pretty and how it should be made. You’ve decided it is important enough to exist. You make something that wasn’t there before. In the musical Sunday in the Park with George, George Seurat sings, “Look! I made a hat… where there never was a hat”.

Creation is an act of faith

The Trinity makes sense to me. How else could God not only make things that require relationship, but understand relationship enough to know what kind and aspects were important? How could God expect man to love God and love each other if he did not already have an understanding of love?

Yet, even in creating humans he can still ask questions, such as “What would it be like to make something that was not Me but in many ways like Me, in my image? What would it be like to make something I can reason with and take pleasure in?”

In creation God made things he decided were important enough to exist

We say only God can create and has created ex nihilo, out of nothing. But even so, has he really? Relationship is not nothing. It is the essence of a triune God. Relationship is why God decided we should exist. Relationship with him, relationship with each other, and just as importantly, relationship with the rest of creation, the rest of God’s culture.

And as God created from His relationship, so, too, are we expected to create from our relationships with each other, with God, and with the rest of creation. And when we create we are asking the same questions, creating from our own essence—out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, the writer writes, the painter paints, the dancer dances, the poet recites, and on and on. We choose which note is important enough to sing, which words are important enough to be spoken, which relationship is important enough to undertake, to weep when they weep, to rejoice when they rejoice.

Get a life!

He came that we might have life and have life more abundantly. If art is about life, how can you have art if you don’t have a life?

Thanks for reading. Please write me with your own thoughts. Also, please let me know if I have permission to publish your thoughts.



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